Skylab S-193 Radscat microwave measurements of sea surface winds
by Moore, R. K.; Spring, W.; Greenwood, C; Fung, A. K.; Young, J. D.; Claassen, J. P.; Chan, H. L.; Afarani, M.; Pierson, W. J.; Cardone, V. J.; Hayes, J.
The S-193 Radscat made extensive measurements of many sea conditions. Measurements were taken in a tropical hurricane (Ava), a tropical storm (Christine), and in portions of extratropical cyclones. Approximately 200 scans of ocean data at 105 kilometer spacings were taken during the first two Skylab missions and another 200 during the final mission when the characteristics of the measurements changed due to damage of the antenna. Backscatter with four transmit/receive polarization combinations and emissions with horizontal and vertical receive polarizations were measured. Other surface parameters investigated for correlation with the measurements included sea temperature, air/sea temperature difference, and gravity-wave spectrum. Methods were developed to correct the microwave measurements for atmospheric effects. The radiometric data were corrected accurately for clear sky and light cloud conditions only. The radiometer measurements were used to recover the surface scattering characteristics for all atmospheric conditions excluding rain. The radiometer measurements also detected the presence of rain which signaled when the scattering measurement should not be used for surface wind estimation. Regression analysis was used to determine empirically the relation between surface parameters and the microwave measurements, after correction for atmospheric effects. Results indicate a relationship approaching square-law at 50 deg between differential scattering coefficient and wind speed with horizontally polarized scattering data showing slightly more sensitivity to wind speed than vertically polarized data.
Book contributor NASA